Kansas City to shutter 26 schools

A split Kansas City school board tonight approved a historic plan to close 26 schools after turning back an effort to take several buildings off the list.

By a vote of 5-4, the board ushered in Superintendent John Covington’s Right Sizing Plan.

The school closings will cut the number of district buildings by more than 40 percent and underpin Covington’s drive to cut $50 million from the shrunken district’s budget.

The board members who voted for the plan were Arthur Benson II, Duane Kelly, Joel Pelofsky, Derek Richey and Airick Leonard West.

Voting no were board President Marilyn Simmons, Cokethea Hill, Helen Ragsdale and Ray Wilson.

The proposal to remove several schools from the closing list failed on a 5-4 vote along the same lines.

The plan will leave the district operating 33 schools.

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